Authentication and Off-Campus Access Help

Authentication FAQ

What is my User ID and password?

Admitted and enrolled students: use your Z-ID ( and password. 
Active NIU employees (faculty, staff, student employees): use your A-ID ( and password.
NIU Retirees (members of the Annuitants Association): use your R-ID ( and password.

I’m on campus, but being asked to authenticate.

If you’re on campus and attempting to access a database, check your WiFi connection to ensure you’re connected to NIUWireless. If you’re connected to NIUVisitor, you will have to authenticate. Please note that some library resources require authentication even if you’re on campus. Enter the appropriate ID and password and proceed as you normally would.

I don't know my User ID and password or I need help with my User ID and password.

You already use your institutional ID/password combination to access O365 and Blackboard. The ID is a combination of letters and numbers unique to you (e.g. z1234567 or a1234567 or c60lxl2). For help with your ID and password, please call the IT Service Desk at 815-753-8100Password Assistance is available at Identity Access and Control.

I've spoken with the IT Service Desk and my ID and password are fine, but I am still unable to login.

Several things can prevent you from authenticating, or from even accessing the authentication page. The most common obstacles are security measures, in particular firewalls. Our method of authentication for off-campus access to library resources (article databases etc.) utilizes a proxy server that assigns ports to virtual hosts whenever a resource is being accessed. Try lowering your security settings from "High" to "Medium" or temporarily disable your firewall. Your computer will not be at risk as long as you are using library resources. You can return your settings to "High" and enable your firewall when you're browsing sites other than NIU's.

Some locations (school districts in particular) use system-wide firewalls that may prevent you from authenticating using one of their computers. A possible work-around may require your system administrator to open a specific port or a range of ports in order to allow communication with our proxy server.

I am unable to access databases linked on the Libraries homepage from off campus.

If you continue to have problems connecting to library resources, please call (815-753-8100) or send an email to

Password Assistance is available at Identity Access and Control.

Contact Us

Dean's Office
Founders Memorial Library
217 Normal Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828
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